Illinois health law choices shrinking with insurer exits

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the marketplace created by President Barack Obama’s overhaul will find less choice than ever when they pick a policy for next year.

The lack of competition is felt nationally. A new analysis by The Associated Press and Avalere Health finds about one-third of U.S. counties will have only one health marketplace insurer next year.

In Illinois, last time around, there were three or more marketplace insurers offering plans for 2016 in all counties. Now only one in four Illinois counties has that kind of choice. Seven counties have only one insurer.

Open enrollment starts Tuesday and ends Jan. 31.

Prices are up too. But most customers get financial assistance, and their subsidies are designed to rise along with premiums.